Donations expand free school breakfasts in Portland

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PORTLAND — A $3,300 donation by the family of a school teacher means students at Fred P. Hall Elementary School will receive free breakfasts through the end of the school year.

The money was received by Kathy St. Clair, a Hall Elementary School teacher, from several of her family members. St. Clair’s brother Roy St. Clair, sister-in-law Liz Germani, and other family members Jean and Bob Russo and Joanne and Roger Fortin all chipped in for a total of $3,375, according to a news release from the School Department.

Free breakfasts are provided to all students at nine Portland schools, and are paid through federal subsidies; however, fewer than half of Hall School students meet the criteria, which results in a lower subsidy.

Of the Hall students that qualify for free breakfast under the federal program, only 20 percent were taking advantage of the program, according to the release. The goal of the family’s donation is to bolster participation.